Jefferson Davis and his critics




Arnold, Marcus Llewellyn

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So in considering the relationship of Jefferson Davis to the American Civil War and to the legislative department of the Confederacy it may be worthwhile to give some account of the influences that seemed to help in making him what he was. [...] This is no attempt to give an elaborate analysis of the character of Jefferson Davis; yet most men believe that we are the product of the two factors of heredity and environment--factors from which we cannot wholly escape; and Mr. N. W. Stephenson has attempted to build up an elaborate theory of Jefferson Davis on the philosophy involved in these two factors. With some of his conclusions I agree, but others seem to be over-refined and strained. For instance, his rather elaborate contrast between the attitude of the leaders in South Carolina and Mississippi tends to break down in view of the fact that there were leaders of varying attitudes in both states. So this paper shall only attempt to explain the more notable traits of character and ideas of government and society as set forth in Davis' own words